The hidden price of womanhood – Eastern European female workers in the fashion retail industry? Success of failure?

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s a good opportunity to think about the price others have to pay in order to help us to be more beautiful.

There has been lots of articles about women in the fashion industry being exploited around the world e.g. Indian clothing workers earning 22p per hour. But how much do we know about women being exploited in England?

Recently, we were approached by middle-aged Eastern European woman working as a cleaner in an agency providing services to well-known fashion shops. She told us she was one of the many Eastern European cleaners who hadn’t been paid for their holidays for years now. She said that she and her colleagues had tried to talk with the manager about it but were ignored. She also said that working for dishonest agency is better than not having work at all.

We believe that work exploitation is too high price to pay. Retail companies should be accountable for the whole chain of supply – abroad and in the UK, and make sure that everybody is treated with dignity and fairly paid.

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